Minute 1: Can you pass the new Army fitness test?
The U.S. Army is gunning for higher fitness standards for its recruits and soldiers. After generals discovered that nearly half of all soldiers were not physically fit for combat, they cranked up the intensity on their fitness tests. The old standard had only 3 components – push-ups, sit-ups and a 2-mile run. The new test covers 6 moves that more directly replicate combat requirements like carrying a wounded buddy or throwing gear over a wall. While some test components are hard to replicate in the gym (like throwing a medicine ball as far as possible) here are some ways to figure out how you’d fare.
- 2-mile run: High standard = 18:00; Max standard = 12:45
- Push-ups in 2 minutes: High standard = 30; Max standard = 70
- Deadlift (3 reps): High standard = 180 pounds; Max standard = 340
To see how you’d match up against current U.S. Army soldiers, here is the complete list of results for each event. BTW, the Marine Corps puts more emphasis on distance running. Men need to run 3 miles in 28 minutes while women need to cover that distance in 31 minutes. Unlike the Marines, the Army does not have separate standards for men and women. Everyone has the same test and the same rules.
Minute 2: Record broken for 7 marathons in 7 days
One of the most difficult events in distance running has a new queen upon its throne. Susannah Gill, a 34-year old Brit, just completed 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days. Known as the World Marathon Challenge, the race is among the most grueling, expensive and logistically challenging on earth. Gill paid more than $40,000 for the pleasure of being tortured by frigid temps in Antarctica and stifling heat in South Africa. She averaged 3:28 for each marathon, which was about 25 minutes faster per leg than the previous women’s record holder. Mike Wardian won for the men, but he did not improve upon his record time of 2:45 per marathon set in 2017. Wardian did, however, manage to impress his kids by doing a Fortnite dance at the end of every marathon. You can geek out on Wardian’s Strava stats here.
Here is an emotional video of Gill crossing the line and doing a brief interview:
Minute 3: Too much of a good thing
The New York Times just published a scary piece on heart problems among hard core endurance athletes. Citing a new JAMA study, the report finds that men who exercise vigorously are more prone to developing dangerous plaques in their arteries. Before you head straight for the couch, however, the study also found that devoted runners often enjoyed good heart health despite the plaques. “The findings raise the interesting possibility, in other words, that strenuous exercise may protect the heart against the very problems to which it also contributes.”
Minute 4: Unbored
Spring marathon season has nearly caught up with us. Los Angeles is on March 24, the 123rd Boston Marathon is on April 15, and London takes place on April 28. We know that trudging through the winter miles can get a little dreary during these short, cold days. That’s why we are always looking to buy a vowel with a new work-out or fun training twist. Whether you are training for that 26.2 sticker or just want to shake up your everyday runs, we like these 6 Marathon-Specific Workouts to Break Training Monotony just released by TrainingPeaks. #shakeitup
Minute 5: Fiber findings
Hold the kombucha, kimchi and kefir. Those nutritional trendsetters are rightly acknowledged as good for the microbes roaming your gut and your body. A new report, however, describes how old-fashioned fiber is just as critical for microbial health. Most Americans consume only half the fiber they should in a typical day. According to WebMD, here are their Top 10 Sources of Fiber.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
Typically, our taste in Reality TV skews more toward American Pickers and 30 for 30 than The Bachelor or Real Housewives of… Sometimes we can’t help ourselves, however, when bubble gum for the brain is just too tasty to spit out. MTV’s Catfish has always been one of those guilty pleasures for us. And our interest was piqued even further recently when we discovered that co-host Nev Schulman is actually an avid runner. He set a goal for himself years ago to crack 3:00 in a marathon and he managed to pull that off in New York last November.
In a weird twist of fate, somehow his agent tracked us down recently and mentioned that Nev is a fan of Six Minute Mile and would love to chat with us. (Yeah, that kind of stuff happens to us almost every day.) So stay tuned, dear reader, for an upcoming Six Minute Mile exclusive interview. Maybe Nev can someday lend a hand to our friends at Marathon Investigation, which roots out bib bandits and course cutters in marathons.
Get faster, get stronger, get inspired.